These will be uploaded as they become available.
Section notes have to be submitted to the Journal several months in advance of publication, hence November's notes referring to happenings in September.
The legendary inter-section quiz saw ten teams grappling with Will Curry's brain-teasers but once more it's the name "Anglian" that gets carved into the cup pedestal. Luckily we don't have that rule whereby winning it three times entitles them to keep it, or by now they'd have a mantelpiece decorated at our expense. Quiz night is a great team effort; huge thanks to everyone involved. Roger's Winter lunch meetings have proved very popular as ever, keeping the hungry fed and getting people out of the shed into the daylight. The midweek run programme has now taken over - a good reason for retiring early. May sees the Arthur King Memorial Run for veterans, vintage and girder-forked bikes; why not come along to Shefford at the start, lunchtime or the finish to witness the spectacle. Club night is all about lawnmowers and please come visit the Velo club on the 20th.
Hopefully this month will see the first of the hibernating bikes emerging from sheds, garages and front rooms across the county, dripping fresh SAE 40 and reflecting sunlight in refurbished chrome, ready for the Spring Run on the 7th and the midweek run on the 17th. Maybe even having received a few tweaks ready for the racetrack after hearing Martin Brookman's fascinating tales of life as a GP mechanic at the February clubnight. Unfortunately we had a few problems with the sound system, which we are urgently trying to fix, but famous names like Steve Parrish and Barry Sheene were dropping like confetti. Ten of us ventured up into the Midlands to the Coventry Museum of Transport to see their amazing collection. Maybe some will be inspired and we'll see the odd, or even very odd, British Scooter appearing on runs? April clubnight is the famous fish and chip night.
If the post is behaving itself, you may still be in time for our visit to the Coventry Transport Museum on Sunday March 3rd and the display of a unique collection of British Scooters, as well as all the other brilliant stuff they have there. See the events diary pages, car share from Shefford or bike. The impoverished should note the free entry. March club night sees the annual clash of the Titans at the legendary and fiendish intersection quiz night; rumour has it that Hoppy has been helping with the questions. In January we were very pleased to welcome CEO James Hewing to update us on how the club is functioning at national level - and jolly well it would seem. There was an excellent and appreciative turnout. James raided the VMCC library beforehand and smuggled out one of the original Norton dispatch books - real history, who needs Time Team?
2012 certainly went out with a bang - a very loud bang from auctioneer Brent's gavel. The Christmas auction raised an astounding £536 for Riders for Health and £48 for research into Parkinson's disease. I'm not sure if it was the personal appearance of Father Christmas that did it, or whether Martin spiked the mince pies, but generosity abounded. A huge thank-you to everyone who donated items and to those who dug deep for things that they probably never realised they wanted; you can always bring them back next year. February clubnight features Martin Brookman's tales of the jet-setting, playboy lifestyle of a GP mechanic. Sunday March 3rd we're visiting the wonderful Coventry Transport Museum. It's the last day of the British scooter exhibition - but don't let that put you off; there's loads of other stuff and free admission! Car share or go by bike. Don't forget the March quiz night.
The Annual General Meeting saw a desperate scrabble amongst the assembled masses to secure committee places for the next year. To avoid too much disappointment it was, however, decided that the existing committee will stay in place (again). The Section Shield was awarded to Nigel Coote for his excellent efforts through the year, including maintaining the Section Archive - Nigel is on the right of the picture receiving the shield from Secretary Brent; clearly they didn't feel the need to dress for the occasion. The exciting 2013 programme kicks off with a visit from no less than VMCC CEO, James Hewing.
John's Transport Quiz really got people guessing; and so did Dave's Autumn Gold run! It never ceases to amaze me how much knowledge our people have on almost anything old with wheels (or wings) but John still managed to stump a few. Many apologies for the wrong date in the journal for the run but judging by the excellent turnout, I didn't fool many - and nobody showed up on the wrong day. Dave's imaginary T-junctions on the Hertford Road created some fun; with bikes going in all directions it was more like a Red Arrows display than a VMCC run. I exaggerate, of course, and everyone made it to the Bishops Stortford lunch stop before dark. Only half-a-dozen at the first midweek lunch but hopefully that's improved by now. Please bring lots of lots for the December auction. Boxing Day sees a repeat of last year's popular run to Sarratt.
November always causes me a bit of a headache as there isn't usually a lot to report and I wish for a picture to paint the proverbial thousand words or, in the case of these notes, just fifty. Maybe we should have a September run - just so I have something to say. Talking of runs and other events, next year's programme is looking jolly exciting with the usual mix of talks, runs, the quiz, ride-outs, ride-ins and networking (posh name for a good old natter). You won't be disappointed. September clubnight saw Brent recounting in his usual captivating and hilarious style memories of his youth, largely misspent on Garelli mopeds, and his attempt to recapture it somewhere on the road from John O'Groats to Land's End. An adventure which has probably left him barred from Travelodges for life. AGM this month, charity auction next - please dig out lots of lots.
I say this every October but, gosh, can it really be that time of year already? My, how time flies when you're having fun on old bikes. The August Noggin & Natter, mid-week run and Windmill Run all proved very popular but not so the VMCC day at The Ace Cafe. Indeed more Beds section members were scoffing ice-cream in Belgium on the Oude Kleppers Parade than fry-ups on the North Circular; odd. Don's Windmill Run was a glorious outing into neighbouring Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire and home past the Great Gransden Airshow, an interesting diversion for some. Something a bit different at October clubnight with John Brooker's, just for fun, transport quiz. Whilst the monthly mid-week event moves indoors, there is still the chance to exercise the steeds on the splendid Autumn Gold Run. The AGM cometh in November, please let Brent know if you'd like to join the committee.
Writing section notes this year without mentioning the weather is proving somewhat of an impossibility - but, then again, we are British so what else would we talk about? The July highlight for the whole of Bedfordshire is usually our wonderful Car Park Concours but not this year. Persistent rain meant it effectively cancelled itself - there wasn't really any need for emergency committee pow-wows with only ten bikes outside and those being of the largely "all-weather" variety. All praise though to our anonymous judge who still braved the elements (on a bike). Remind me to ask someone how the midweek runs are going. Please be advised that Steve Lindsell is unable to give his talk on "Racing Bullets" at the September clubnight and the pace will slow somewhat to that of a big-bore moped as Brent recounts the tale of his recent end-to-end endeavour; possibly even answering that perpetual query "why?".
Rain (how dare it?) on Ride-a-Bike to Shefford night no doubt kept a few of the shinier steeds at home under their dustcovers and owners under their bedcovers waiting instead for July Concours night. I'm sure midweek runs are as popular as ever but I always leave these notes too late to enquire. The pie-and-pint night and new format Albert Brown Run have now settled nicely into firm features of our programme of events, and both were very successful and truly enjoyable. Gazing into the future, though not too far, we see two remarkable transitions: Don McKeand turns into Don Quixote to take us on a tour of tilting at local windmills; and in a change to the advertised programme for September, Brent tells us how, earlier this year, he shed a (good) few years to relive his teenage years by riding a moped from John O'Groats to Lands End.
I'm told I got it shockingly wrong in May's Notes about Anglian's seemingly perpetual victories in our inter-section quiz. Whoops, sorry. At the June clubnight Bob Culver (he who knows about Vincents) beguiled the gathered masses with 'An unusual engine', and unusual it certainly was. A two-stroke with six pistons in three cylinders but with one cylinder delivering the charge to the others. Built for powering large lifeboats to be dropped from Shackletons, Bob actually had one of the engines there on display. The riding season is now in full swing and the Arthur King Memorial Run was the most successful to date with 30 riders enjoying excellent weather and a first class event; another 570 entries and Banbury has a serious rival. July sees two great Beds Section traditions. Ride the beast in the Albert Brown Run, then brazenly polish it up for the Car Park Concours.
The fish and chip supper proved the plaice to be once again this year, with something like 55 portions being served up. In last year's report I lamented having no runs during an exceptionally dry April; this year I think we're glad we didn't! Hopefully rain will be a distant memory by now because we've got a packed Summer programme and every single event is about getting out and riding. Tighten those last bolts, polish that last bit of chrome, check the tyres and oil and head our way. There's ride-a-bike-to-Shefford night, the midweek run, the now-established Pie-and-Pint night and Albert Brown Run and the hugely popular Car Park Concours. Don't forget, the Albert Brown Run now caters for all nationality VMCC eligible bikes and even the more recent Royal Enfields; little traffic and largely flat so it's ideal for the older machines.
How well do you remember 2006? Well enough to remember someone other than Anglian 'A' winning our intersection quiz night? Yes, history repeated itself again but well done to everyone who took on Will Curry's challenging and, dare I say it, sometimes controversial brain-teasers. It was particularly pleasing to have the bell and buzzer system working again for the quick-fire final round. All-in-all a great team effort, with at least a dozen people involved in making it a success for, I believe, the 24th time. The other highlight of March was the start of the riding season proper and John Brooker's excellent Spring Run. A healthy turn-out of around15 bikes ranging from a lovely pre-war Triumph 3H to an equally lovely Yamaha 'Elsie', with all sorts in between including Brent's uncommon Sanglas. 'All sorts in between' would probably also describe most of the riders.
February club-night was a veritable treat with Bill Phelps recounting fascinating tales of his 50 years on two wheels. How can one man attract so many gifts of old bikes - the Steptoe of the vintage motorcycle world? The inevitable first question was "just how big is your shed?". The late evening snow made it an interesting ride home; all praise to trials bikes. No excuse for boredom or hunger over the coming weeks. John Brooker's Spring Run will be taking us in a Northerly direction with, of course, the essential pub lunch. Club-night is the feast of fish and chips; please don't bring sandwiches that night because we've had to commit to a large order to entice the van into our car park. The new season of Roger's mid-week runs is about to start. Finally, dust off the veterans and girder fork machines for the Arthur King Memorial Run.
January club night was a slight change from the advertised "tour" of section archives to a slide show of racing photographs recently acquired by Roger King. It came as a surprise to me but hopefully the originally scheduled show will appear sometime so we can laugh at times when only the bikes were vintage. Two great traditional section club nights in the diary for the next couple of months. The intersection quiz, with sumptuous refreshments, this month, and the fabulous fish and chip supper in April. Add to that the last mid-week lunch of the Winter season and the Spring Run on April Fool's Day and it's clear that the year is about to change up a gear. If you haven't heard the details of the Beds Boys on Tour weekend in June in Derbyshire, and you fancy joining in, you'd best waste no time in contacting Brent or myself.
The Christmas auction was an outstanding success, furnishing people with all manner of things they never knew they needed, and raising the rather grand sum of £231. The money has formed our contribution to the kind people of Shefford who are going to build us a splendid new clubhouse - Grand Designs, here we come. A mild Boxing Day allowed a score or so members to escape turkey sandwiches and nagging in-laws to make the run down to the vintage meet in Sarratt; a welcome change to the challenging conditions of the previous two years. The February clubnight promises a real treat, with former President Bill Phelps relating tales from his 50 years of motorcycling. Also listen out for initials details of the "Beds Boys on Tour" weekend sometime this summer. And don't forget to get swatting ready for the Quiz night in March - high time that Bedfordshire Section beat Anglian.
Highlights of the AGM were presentations to two stalwarts. The Section Shield went to Martin
Brookman for his unstinting efforts looking after the catering. Then a special award, suggested
by the section membership, was made to Phil 'Hoppy' Hopkins in recognition of his immense efforts
over three decades in helping found, develop and run the Bedfordshire Section. The photo shows
Chris Illman presenting the engraved tankard. In the rest of the business, the AGM granted no
remission to the committee so we're all 'in' for another year. But that's no burden; we wouldn't
do it if we didn't enjoy it.
Lady Luck smiled graciously and provided perfect weather for our Autumn Gold run, bringing riders out in droves. Thirty bikes meant this was probably our best weekend turnout of the year with, I'm delighted to say, riders joining us from neighbouring sections and the VJMCC. Dave and Nigel's excellent route took us to picturesque Essex. It would be nice to say that it took us home again but, approaching the outskirts of Doncaster we began to suspect that the turning for Bishops Stortford was somewhere behind us. October clubnight featured myself attempting to entertain and amuse with a selection of motorcycle adverts from the 40s and 50s. People said nice things to me afterwards; possibly just being polite. December has the auction so please have a quick gander in the loft for anything that might raise a few pennies. Please don't forget the Mid-week lunch and the Boxing Day run.
November sees three exciting events to satisfy the thrill-seekers amongst our ranks: the second of Roger's mid-week lunches, the release of the action-packed 2012 programme and, thrill of thrills, the section AGM. All the committee are desperate to continue but that doesn't mean there isn't any room left in these hallowed ranks of privilege and power. Please come and tell us how you think we're doing - we can take it - and what we can do to make vintage motorcycling in Bedfordshire as enjoyable as possible (except for filling in potholes, that is). December sees the now familiar auction but we need things to flog so drag out that Minerva engine, Tandon tea-cosy or even the Lada manual. Proceeds will go towards a donation to the fund for a new Memorial Hall in Shefford. The bring-something-interesting evening went well with an eclectic bunch of oddities, and the things they brought along.
Gosh can it really be that time of year already - whatever happened to the summer? But don't consign your pride and joy to the back of the shed just yet as there's still the Autumn Gold Run to get out on the lanes and enjoy the trees in their glorious splendour. The Curiosities run in August saw a splendid collection of eleven bikes exploring some of the lesser known landmarks in Beds, Herts & Bucks, including a maypole, a cement kiln roller (a what?) and the scene of the Great Train Robbery. By all accounts, mid-week daytime runs have continued in their popularity, more so than the weekend runs - oh to be retired! But it's now time to swap to mid-week lunches instead. October club night sees yours truly exploring the delightful world of motorcycle magazine adverts in the 1940s and 1950s when artists and cartoonists reigned supreme ver photographers.
Wills and Kate and a few others sent their apologies but almost everyone else was there at the July Car Park Concours evening. And what a splendid time we had. Around 100 bikes if one counts the more modern machines paying homage to their forefathers. Prize winners were Gary Cass's 1930 OEC (pre-war), Philip Butcher's 1972 Triumph Daytona (post-war) and Will Curry's Ariel (victim of war). Midweek runs are proving very popular amongst those unafflicted by continuing employment. September clubnight needs members to bring along "something interesting" to amuse their fellows - not necessarily motorcycle related but that would be good.
A bit late but I'm pleased to report that the Arthur King Memorial Run for the older bikes was another success but one which again failed to attract the numbers that it should considering the huge effort (and expense) Roger goes to. On the other hand the Albert Brown Run (just yesterday as I write) pushed the kitchen staff at the finish pub close to their rev-limiters. Well done to Brent and Denise for keeping this run going and attracting such a healthy entry (numbers, that is, not riders). Pleasingly the breakdown trailer returned empty this year, although it was a close thing with my 3T almost making it two years in a row! Ride-a-bike night was blessed with glorious weather and the turn-out was spectacular. Just a Noggin & Natter for the August clubnight as hopefully the weather will keep us all out in the car park talking bikes.
Holiday meant your unworthy scribe missed both the evening ride to the Ariel Club and the Arthur King Memorial Run; and the journal submission deadline meant I haven't had time to get reports - hopeless, I know. But I was there to hear club member Ellis Billington's fascinating talk on his experiences with having taken up flying a Cessna aeroplane. Many thanks to Ellis for standing in at short notice after our original planned talk fell through. Lots of questions at the end confirmed that he had captured many an imagination in the audience. Fingers crossed for a fine evening for the car park concours. Hopefully there'l l be no conflict with the football players' cars this year - last year it was rumoured that a few members were spotted coolly flicking combs through their Brylcreemed quiffs and reminiscing about clashes with Mods on Southend sea-front when challenged to move their bikes.
The April fish & chip supper was a roaring success with over 50 portions being served up - and jolly good they were too. If only we could have predicted the month was going to be drier than the Atacama Desert we could have arranged a few more runs. But there are plenty of chances to exercise your steeds locally over the coming weeks. Hopefully the lack of water doesn't mean all the Scotts and LE Velocettes will be off the road. Apart from a fresh venue, new rules for the Albert Brown Run remove the restriction to British bikes only - so bring your Harley, FN, Gilera, Honda or whatever. All bikes built before the end of 1986, and more recent Royal Enfields, are all welcome. The route is almost flat so don't be afraid to dig out those veterans, cyclemotors, Ariel 3s and D1 Bantams. Concours is coming - get polishing!
Spring has sprung, neighbouring sections have been quizzed (and found just a little more knowledgeable than us) and bikes have been aired. March clubnight saw local sections go head-to-head in battle against Will Curry's fiendish quiz. The quick fire final, after excellent refreshments from Martin and his crew, left a now familiar podium of Anglia first, just ahead of our own Bedfordshire 'A'. John Brooker's Spring Run maintained the standard of excellence he has established over the last few years. His uncanny ability to arrange a sunny start brought out 17 bikes including Ellis on his vintage Scott who came along to see us off. BSA, Harley, Honda, Matchless, Royal Enfield, Triumph and Velocette made an impressive sight and sound through the lanes and villages of a splendid route. Very nice of the workman to explain to John, in such clear terms, exactly the meaning of the 'Road Closed' signs.
Hibernation time is over and we're all hungry for vintage motorcycle action. The Winter talks have been really good, as ever, but it's time to spread some tyre rubber and the occasional drop of SAE 40 over the asphalt - but fix those fuel leaks, that stuff's far too expensive to waste. Check out the events listing below for our first two runs of the season - no need to head over to Northampton or Chesham, Bedfordshire is the place to be. If you haven't done our runs, believe me, you're really missing out. Speaking of dropping oil, our secretary Brent's talk at the February clubnight about "Riding the Giro" was an absolute classic. Hilarious tales of mopping up oil leaks with hotel towels, ending up in the middle of a bicycle race and arriving late at lunch stops to find everyone else had already diasappeared leaving only crumbs in their wake.
A bit late with the report of the Boxing Day Run, but as there wasn't one I don't suppose it matters that much. Two or three hardy (foolhardy?) members did make their way to the start on bikes but it wasn't to be - far too risky without ice-skates so, heads bowed, they went home to the left-over turkey and mince pies. Last month I forgot to mention our gallant efforts over at the Chiltern Section quiz. Icy roads meant a few no-shows and instant promotion for the three "B" team members. We didn't win. January clubnight saw the return of Ashley Atkinson to complete his talk on "The Bedfordshires" in WW1 that he started last January. And he still didn't manage to get to 1918 - this could become a regular feature! And still no mention of Triumph Model H's. Otherwise it's all a bit quiet around here.
Some say "brave soul", others say "should know better" but there was just the one bike at the rather chilly December clubnight. I plead guilty but I needed to get some miles on the bike before the Exeter Trial. Clubnight itself was our now customary auction, with Brent taking charge of proceedings. All items were generously donated by club members including the star item, a pair of Rodark panniers , which helped us raise a handsome total of £127.50. The money was donated to the Bedford NHS Trust Coronary Unit, in memory of Jeff Davies. The suggestion of communal carol singing was greeted with as much enthusiasm as a barn-find Puch Maxi so we moved swiftly to the excellent spread of Christmas Fare courtesy of Martin, Chris and several members who brought things along; many thanks. February sees a swap from the programmed talk which will appear in May instead.
The Bedfordshire Section made sure of a fine send-off for one of our best, Jeff Davies. Fourteen bikes accompanying him on his last ride, this time in the Triumph motorcycle hearse. Many more members attended by car and filled the church to capacity. On a brighter note, the AGM passed off with no riots or votes-of-no-confidence and only minor heckling - which, of course, we come to expect. Indeed, the mood was rather upbeat and the committee was voted back in en-bloc to keep on doing what they have been doing. A feedback session, nervously introduced by the Chairman, produced some interesting ideas - most of which will be implemented. The opening meeting for the New Year is about World War One so if you have any interesting memorabilia you can bring along, please do but bear in mind that the Bomb Disposal Squad don't like call-outs on dark, cold Winter evenings.
October saw Chris Illman bare his motorcycling soul in front of a large, highly appreciative audience with tales of grass tracks and his bikes, illustrated using our new digital projector - a very generous gift from Peter Jones' widow in his memory. Dave Watts' Autumn Gold Run to distant Essex was a splendid end to the conventional riding season. Some 20 bikes (see photo) were tempted out by glorious weather. Alternative routes were inevitably explored by some but everyone eventually arrived safely at the lunch stop in 'biker hang-out' Finchingfield. We fitted in well; showed those youngsters a thing or two!
Unfortunately I must report that the search has been called off for those riders who vanished on the final mid-week run for the year, Interpol have drawn a blank and relatives are now being contacted. Unconfirmed reports have it that the run organiser was amongst those who failed to arrive at the lunch stop. Hopefully he will reappear in time to organise more of these popular runs next year. Talking of next year, the programme is coming together nicely but suggestions for events and speakers are always welcome. The 'bring-something-interesting' evening seemed to go quite well even though the organiser (me) didn't seem to have much of a clue about how it was supposed to work. This month is, of course, AGM time but it will also provide an opportunity to tell the committee what's good and what's not and what club events you'd like to see; praise always welcomed.
Just one more weekend run then it's time for the Winter rebuild, and maybe to find time to work on the bike as well. Our runs may not be the best supported but, by Heavens, they're good! A very fine example of that was Don McKeand's Curiosities Run taking in no less than 11 of beautiful Bedfordshire's well-known (Cardington airship sheds) and not so well-known (Doolittle Mill, near Totternhoe) landmarks, and finishing with a small quiz and a well-earned ice cream on Dunstable Downs. Glorious weather, good company, all in all a perfect day out - especially trying to splash the kids playing in the ford. August club-night saw Hoppy impressively working his way through an alphabet of Vee twins made in Britain - and he nearly made it. Anyone know of one beginning with 'U'? No, nor did Pat Davy who helped Hoppy with his research - fanatics, the pair of them.
Life is full of mysteries; one of which was the destination for the July evening run and another of which is the reason why no-one showed up. Perhaps people thought that if they didn't know where they were going they wouldn't know how to get home? - or maybe it was just the rain. Less of a mystery is why the "Car park concours" is one of our most popular events. Out of at least 75 VMCC eligible bikes, our expert judge gave the awards to an HRD Comet (best pre-war), T120 Bonneville (best post-war) and a much-modified T150 Trident (best special). A very tough job with so many delicious machines, and every one ridden there; wonderful! The Albert Brown Run gained a new look this year and it proved to be a very good one thanks entirely to Brent's organisation - lovely quiet roads and an excellent welcome at the pub.
They say the sun always shines on the righteous which probably explains why we had drizzle on "Ride a bike to Shefford" night but it didn't seem to dampen spirits at all. Pie-and-pint night in Wilden went really well - great pies, good beer, lovely evening, nice selection of bikes and lots of tales of "I used to have one of those" from the locals. Thanks to Ron Macbeth for leading a run over to the Great Ouse river gala - hope the magnetos were waterproof. Good to see lots of section members at the Banbury Run - the one VMCC event where the bikes are even older than the riders! The riding highlight for August is the Curiosities Run visiting a selection of local oddities, please come along it'll be fun. Finally, a plug for a charity classic bike and car show at the Flitwick Rufus Centre on August 8th from noon.
Covers are off, oil has been mopped up (or should that be topped up?), engines have been fired up, the blue smoke has begun to clear, and bikes are back on the road in Bedfordshire, big time. May club night was such a glorious evening that the planned table top quiz got passed over in favour of a car park evening of noggining and nattering. A busy month for Roger King with the second midweek run and the Arthur King Memorial Run to organise. The latter was a real treat for pre-war bike fans with two dozen veteran, vintage and girder-fork machines chugging their way around local back roads. Numbers weren't as high as they should be (where were you?) but the quality and variety of bikes was truly splendid. Don't forget the Albert Brown Run for British made bikes only; check with Brent if you haven't pre-entered.
The glint of polished chrome in the moonlight (OK, streetlight) was a sight to be beholden at the April clubnight; a splendid array of machines for such an early season evening. Fish & chips were the speciliality of the day with Martin and his helpers being kept busy buttering bread and brewing tea. A goodly selection of them reappeared, despite the fear of what volcanic ash might do to ancient pushrods and pistons, for both the Spring Run and inaugural Midweek Daytime Run. The Spring Run was particularly risky as John Brooker took us right up to Leicestershire, dangerously close to Iceland. Brilliant route, great pub, beautiful weather, excellent company - perfect. Roger King played it safer taking his run to plane-free Luton and the excellent Mossman Carriage Collection. The crummy weather meant Relay Rally visitors were well down on previous years - but were made very welcome by hosts Martin & Hoppy.
The legend lives on. They said it couldn't be done but the Bedfordshire Intersection Quiz was once again a resounding success. Fourteen teams pitted their wits against a truly varied bag of brain teasers devised mainly by Will Curry. Anglia A topped the qualifying rounds only to be narrowly defeated in the quick-fire final by a shock victory on home turf for Bedfordshire A. Martin Brookman and his team excelled with the catering; huge thanks to everyone who contributed food or help on the night. Springs were heard creaking as the visitors' carriages left the car park. Plans for the Albert Brown Run are finally coming together and this year will start from Wilden (where?). Roads around there are particularly well-suited to the low-powered and veteran machines we love to see on this run. And one last reminder that the Spring Run is now the 18th April.
Before you do anything else grab your diary and the Tippex bottle because Spring is coming early this year - well, the Spring Run is anyway. I hear the Stafford Classic Bike Show is worried about numbers so have asked us to avoid a clash. The run will now be a week earlier on Sunday April 18th; you have been warned. February clubnight took us on a gentle stroll through the section archive. Starting with the newspaper reporting of the very founding of the Section, through to runs, racing, trials and picnics. Memories stirred of days long gone when the sun always shone, pre-war bikes were ridden in anger and Brylcreem was only 6d a tub. Thanks to Nigel for digitising the glass slides and fragile parchments and continuing to maintain the archive for future generations. News later of a charity classic car and bike show in Flitwick in August.
Luckily, thaw set in just before the January clubnight so skis and skates weren't needed but it was still a bit dodgy for bikes. The ever defiant, die-hard Will Curry took to his MZ combo whilst the rest of us softies resorted to the comfort of a fourth wheel, heater and Radio 2. Once tales had been exchanged of how winter never used to bring the whole country to a halt, and how they'd once ridden a Rudge Autocycle for 100 miles through 3-feet high snowdrifts just to get a packet of cigarettes, the gathered masses sat down to beguilling tales of the Bedfordshire Regiment in WWI. Fascinating stories of bravery and sacrifice told by passionate and very knowledgable enthusiast Ashley Atkinson. Further intrigue was added by the display of grenades, shell cases and other paraphenalia of war, brought along by Norman Keighley. As always, an excellent evening.
The lure of excellent (and free) grub brought section members out in droves to the Xmas bash and auction at the December clubnight and, needless to say, they weren't disappointed. Recently retired Chairman Chris Illman brought the auctioneer's hammer down on items aplenty, raising a tidy sum of around £150. The traditional Boxing Day Run was under new management but icy conditions on local roads kept many a bike and rider safe at home by the hearth. About ten hardy souls braved the very cold but sunny conditions and set off from Pulloxhill on a well-chosen route sticking to treated roads. Local rumours of a display of ice-sculptures in the pub disappeared once the riders had been hosed down with coffee and hot soup. The 2010 programme is looking good - check the website if you haven't yet picked up a copy of the listing. Be warned, the quiz approacheth.
In tennis they cry "new balls", in the VMCC they cry "new blood". And such was the theme of the section AGM. Wielding the long knives were retiring Chairman and Secretary, Chris Illman and Ivor Rhodes. Competition to fill these posts was fierce but I fought off all the challengers myself to take the chair [spot the poetic license]. The battle for Secretary was equally non-existent and for a while it looked like we were doomed. But in true fifth cavalry style, Brent Fielder came forward to save the day. Luckily for us, the rest of the committee has bravely stayed on. Chris and Ivor both received well earned votes of thanks from the floor. Also well-earned was the section shield for outstanding efforts during 2009, awarded to Dave Watts. The 2010 section programme is looking pretty exciting including mid-week runs for those who no longer have to suffer the daily grind.
Have pity on those who missed the Autumn Gold Run for it was a real cracker (no seasonal pun intended). Possibly the best attended run of the year with around 30 bikes and a good sprinkling of pillions and passengers - yes, we even had a 3-wheeler with us. Glorious weather, spectacular autumn colours and a great route - what more could you ask? OK, a route card without confusing bits, but who's counting? A few were spotted disappearing into oblivion on the return leg; but I'm afraid the search has now been officially called off. Many thanks to David & Nigel for a splendid run. Clubnight saw yours truly showing a few slides of some of the curiosities found by the roadside whilst motorcycling around our wonderful island. Monuments to people and events otherwise long forgotten. Look out for details of the coming events, arrangements aren't settled quite yet.
The September clubnight enjoyed the continued spell of good weather and lots of bikes came out to play. Once rounded up and herded into the hall their riders were treated to a great start to the indoor season. Richard Browne gave a fascinating insight into racing in the 60s, mainly in exotic places like Malaysia, back when everything was in black & white. His wonderful photographs took everyone back to days when British singles were battling it out with the flashy oriental newcomers, and when safety took second place to having fun. When you are reading this it should be just before the section AGM. Please don't choose that night to start the Winter re-build but come along and let us know what you want from the section. This year is more important than ever as it looks like we shall have new blood in both Chairman and Secretary. Yikes!
After something like 15 years, Chris Illman is standing down as Chairman as he sprints into retirement, or retires into sprinting, depending on how you look at it. We have a nomination for the post but if there's anyone else keen on the job a nomination should be made to Ivor. We had a fine time at the Ace Cafe VMCC day, narrowly missing out to the Anglian Section on the award for best club turnout, but making up for it by eating most of their prize! To save embarrassment, no mention will be made here of one-way streets or lost souls. If only Bonnickson had listed a satnav. Many thanks to Don for an excellent Boundaries Run with its highlight of passing through the wonderful Flamstead Scarecrow Festival, despite the obvious risk of mistaken identities! An excellent turnout of about 16 bikes and the most glorious of Summer days.
Move over Calgary Stampede - no longer can you claim to be The Greatest Show on Earth, that honour goes to the Beds Section Car Park Concours! OK we're deficient in calf-roping but boy what a display of bikes! I counted 61 VMCC eligible bikes but they were coming and going all evening so there were probably several more. All but two were ridden there and all but three were ridden home. Best prewar was a 1935 Velocette MAC, best postwar was a 1971 Bonneville. The Albert Brown Run for bikes of British manufacture was another splendid day out. Two dozen bikes representing every class from several Veterans up to a rule-stretching Post-60 Japanese four (it's the electric start, you see). Unfortunately the run to the museum at Rushden Station couldn't go ahead (blame it on that Beeching chap) and was replaced by a social visit to "The Musgrave Arms".
Whoopee, it's summer! Time for the fur lining to come out of the Belstaff and to swap the Trials Universals for some TT100s. Time indeed to prise the pride and joy from its sterile cocoon and just ride. The June club night extended the invitation, or should that be challenge, to do just that and "ride a bike to Shefford" and, thankfully, many did. The barbeque at Cranfield Social Club seemed a little shy on numbers this year but the weather was kind, the company was good and plenty of grub made it an excellent evening. As always, the section was well represented on the Banbury Run with Roger King taking "best sidecar"; not sure about the bike, but great sidecar! Having left this to the last minute, as always, I'm not absolutely sure of the details for the "Beating the Boundaries Run" so please check for details, but come.
The May clubnight played host to noggining and much nattering on a fine evening amongst an impressive array of bikes old and, well, some not quite so old. Club members were, of course, just old. Turnout was a bit less at the Musgrave Arms for the Anti-social run but an enjoyable evening was had none the less. The Arthur King Memorial Run for veteran, vintage and girder-fork machines is now beginning to gain pace in its third year with an entry of some thirty bikes. The picture shows the wonderful 1904 Smith (yes, Smith), winner of 'best-veteran' and 'what-do-all-those-levers-do' awards.
Maundy Thursday saw the traditional distribution of fish and chips amongst the hungry and needy of the section, the first hot meal for some since emerging from winter hibernation amongst restoration projects in sheds and garages across the county. The Spring Run (see photo) was a very successful event with a score of fine machines, riders and pillions enjoying a delightful jaunt across the borders into parts of Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire unknown to many of us. Many thanks to John Brooker for organising such an interesting route, excellent lunch stop and splendid weather. Please now enter the Albert Brown Run.
Bedfordshire Section's quiz night is the must-not-miss event for March in this part of the world. Boasting a long reputation for stimulating both brain and stomach, this year was no exception. New teams for both questions and catering excelled and kept that reputation more than intact. But not everything was new, guess who won? - and guess who was second? The full ten points if you said Anglian "A" and the 3Rs (from Northants), respectively. An added bonus to the evening was lovely weather that brought out a goodly collection of splendid machinery, old and new; amazing for what was really still late Winter. Finally, I must humbly apologize for the lapses that have crept into my report recently - giving the wrong month for the fish-and-chip supper and rechristening Don McKeand as Rod McKean. Hope no-one went hungry. Loads to do in the next few weeks; get those wheels rolling.
Despite the Shackeltonian efforts of some committee members, weather conditions for the January clubnight were declared too nasty and the meeting was cancelled. Word has it that a few valiant souls did manage to snow-shoe their way to Shefford for an impromptu noggin & natter in the bar. Rumours that several Husqvarnas were seen in the car park turned out to be untrue; they were actually Huskies. Efforts are underway to try to rearrange Richard Browne's talk on racing later in the year; watch this space. It's that time of year again - time to brush off the cobwebs, grease the joints, then pop out to the garage and get that bike out for the Spring Run (see below). It's going to be a great Summer with no less than five Sunday runs in our programme. Let's prove the cynics wrong and show that Beds section do ride their bikes!
A little late with the report from the Boxing Day run but by all accounts it was jolly successful with over 30 bikes in attendance and a cool £275 raised for our favourite charity, the Ampthill Cheshire Home. Leaving the festive season well behind us we cruised into 2009 in the company of Don McKeand aboard an Enfield, high in the Himalayan hills of India and Bhutan. Celebrating a "big" birthday he treated himself to the Thunderdragon Tour I'm sure you've seen advertised in the glossy classic magazines. And what a treat it was judging by his marvellous anecdotes and wonderful pictures. Narrow mountain roads with frequent landslides, huge drops and no barriers, tea plantations, fortified monastries, curries galore and all courtesy of a slogging 500 single built in Madras - we certainly got the impression he enjoyed it. It wouldn't be fair to mention the bent crashbars - so I won't.
Christmas was celebrated in truly generous spirit in Bedfordshire with an impressive £157 raised for the local Cheshire Home at our inaugural auction. Bargains were aplenty with Chris Illman's hammer dropping on magazine collections and TT programmes at far less than eBay prices. Amongst the more unusual items was a brace of pheasants, a snip at just £6. Remarkably, all the auction items were donated by club members. This year was just a try-out but it was great fun and it's sure to become an annual feature. Hopefully the Boxing Day Run from the Ampthill Cheshire Home was its usual great success but, as I write, that's still in the future - the day after Christmas I seem to recall. It barely leaves time to work out how to connect the new SatNav to a 6V dynamo but it's a good chance to show off that hand-knitted petrol tank warmer.
An air of great excitement preceded that favourite of all section events - the AGM. Extra stewards struggled to control the seething masses clamoring to re-elect the committee en masse, debate start times and indulge in the perennial whinge about Bedfordshire not being a strong riding section. Highlights were the release of the 2009 programme and the presentation of the Section Shield to the much-deserving Don McKean for unstinting devotion to section activities. The photograph shows Don (left) receiving the award from Chairman Chris Illman. Please note - future evening meetings will be on a strict 8pm for 8.30 basis.
Dark nights are upon us and the number of bikes at section meetings is in serious decline although a few Winter workhorses are happily emerging from Summer grazing, suitably doused in Waxoyl and WD40. Our October club night talk was curiously billed as "Aerial motorcycles?" (sic). Hopefully, the spelling and the ubiquitous question mark meant few were expecting tales of Selly Oak Red Hunters or Square Fours. Instead Jim Woodham treated us to a surprisingly detailed insight into the world of microlights - aeroplanes, that is. Ranging from hang-gliders with chain-saw engines to very sophisticated (and jolly expensive) small aircraft with four cylinder engines and a surprising turn of speed - T E Lawrence emulators watch out! By the time you read this the section AGM will be over and all will be well with the world as we head towards an exciting programme of talks and runs in the new year.
It's time to find the fleece lining for the Belstaff, dig out the Winter hack, don the thermals and head off to Shefford to enjoy the Beds section monthly indoor events. The season went off to a flying start with a wonderful presentation on the Green Power Challenge from Bob Billington and his team of 11-16 year olds, including the now semi-legendary "Mini-Stig". But the true star was the electric car they had built from sticky-back plastic, old detergent bottles and discarded tea-trays. The idea is to race their rivals around a track for a full 4 hours to see how far they can go before the amperes finally expire. ACC Racing are currently lying an impressive 33rd nationally amidst no less than 360 teams. Great to see that not all kids are hoody-wearing, knife-wielders! And, finally, a quick plug for the usual Boxing Day run - date to be announced!
Isn't it typical, we get an extra 25 words or the chance for a photograph in the section report and what happens in the Bedfordshire Section this month? - not a lot! Club night was a "Noggin & Natter" although that isn't strictly accurate because my dictionary reckons a Noggin is about a quarter of a pint and none of our section has ever been spotted with anything that small. A pleasant evening though with lots of nice bikes and loads of "Natter". Journal deadlines meant it was too late to publicise the change of speaker for the September meeting but well done Don for standing in at short notice - report next month. Evenings are starting to pull in and shed lights are coming on but don't forget our monthly meetings including the AGM in November. Is the section doing what you want, could you help in any way - this is your great chance.
Not sure about all-singing-and-dancing but July certainly has been an all-riding month - who said the Bedfordshire boys and girls don't do runs? The Albert Brown Run this year was again extremely enjoyable even if a road blocked by a car crash did cause minor chaos and the unfavourable weather put the kibosh on the afternoon section. Luckily we had a lovely evening for the car park concours resulting in a great turn-out with lots of visitors - but, strangely, no judging this year. An enforced late change of venue for the Social Run saw a welcome return to the Musgrave Arms, Shillington where, it is rumoured, a bunch of ageing renegade rockers can be found on a semi-frequent basis looking for a jukebox to race to.
A small but select bunch of veteran, vintage & girder fork mounted riders enjoyed the challenge of the Arthur King Memorial Run twisting its way through the back roads of Beds & Herts. A pity that numbers are so low for this well organized event. No such shortage of bikes and riders at the ride-a-bike to Shefford club night in June - oh to be a Turtle Wax shareholder! The annual barbeque at Cranfield managed to draw the rainclouds but not before many had already left home without packing their waterproofs (and spent the evening staring out the window to see if the rain would stop). Good job the excellent and plentiful grub was indoors. A fun ride home indeed for those suffering from 6V lighting.
The month of May was a merry one indeed for the fine people and machines of the Bedfordshire section. The Spring Run saw an impressive 20 bikes on a near re-run of last year's excellent route but this time without the curtain of rain to hide the scenery. Brian Cornwell entertained us admirably at the club night with his reminiscences from 50 years of motorcycling combining humorous personal experiences with sporting endeavours and technical talk. The variety of bikes at the anti-social run to the Musgrave Arms in Shillington was nothing short of amazing, including no less than three veterans. And congratulations to section member Ivor Webb who's off to the Isle of Man to receive a loyalty award for an amazing 50 years attendance.
The Bedfordshire gourmet dining experience continued at the April clubnight with the traditional fish and chip supper. A very successful evening, popular with everyone apart perhaps from the North Sea cod population which took quite a hit. But I'm sure they would have derived some comfort from the wonderful collection of bikes that appeared on such a nice evening. Lots more chances to ride those bikes now that Summer is (hopefully) here and we step up to two clubnights each month and even some weekend runs. June sees the Arthur King Memorial run, the ride-a-bike-to-Shefford night and the BBQ outing to Cranfield, followed in July by the Albert Brown run, the car park concours and an evening ride-out. Keep those fingers crossed for good weather.
Certainties in life are few but one to add to the proverbial "death and taxes" is that Anglian "A" team will win the Bedfordshire inter-section team quiz. And, most impressively, they did so again this year. The quiz has become semi-legendary over the last 20 years but change is afoot as Hoppy and Chris Illman are retiring from organizing it, and the ladies who have fed us so splendidly also feel it is time for a rest. Volunteers are sought to prevent a tradition being lost. May sees the start of a busy Summer programme starting with what promises to be a fascinating talk from Brian Cornwell. Then fetch your steeds in from their Winter grazing ready for a canter around on the Spring Run.
The February club night coincided with St Valentines Day but numbers didn't seem to suffer. Indeed, I counted at least ten loved ones that had been brought along - five in the audience and five more left parked outside! An audience of around 80 (attendance, that is, not average age - although, now I think of it...) were entertained splendidly by Phil "Hoppy" Hopkins and the fruits of his search for some often tenuous links between airships and early motorcycle engine manufacturers. April club night is the traditional fish and chip supper night. Then the run season will soon be upon us, starting with the Spring Run on 18 May, the AKM Run in June and the Albert Brown Run in July (see Regs Available).
The January club night featured a very professional, informative and fascinating insight into the operations of the East Anglian Air Ambulance service. Very reassuring to know they're there but hopefully our motorcycling exploits won't cause any of us to need their professional services. The March clubnight sees the Bedfordshire hospitality wagon rolled out once again for the much celebrated intersection quiz. Teams of three are invited to do battle with the Goliaths of old bike trivia, knowing they can console themselves in defeat with some great nosh. Then back on the diet ready for the April fish and chip supper night. It's no wonder we see so few small capacity bikes - with all this gourmet feasting, they can't carry the weight!
Unfortunately Santa himself didn't make it to the December club night but the fine array of Christmas fare would have done him proud. Jolly chilly that night so only three bikes (no sleighs) spotted in the car park. The special Christmas raffle raised about £170 for the local Cheshire Home and this was boosted magnificently by a collection among the 35 or so festive riders setting off from there on the traditional Boxing Day Run. The February club night features Phil (Hoppy) Hopkins investigating the not very obvious link between motorcycles and airships (sorry, we're saving the Ariel motorcycles joke for later in the year). Then all evening leave is cancelled to allow everyone to get down to some serious revision for the March inter-section quiz.
A healthy turnout of more than 35 members ensured true democracy at the section AGM and without the need for UN observers. But changes were afoot. Ivor Rhodes took over as secretary but with an appeal for member participation to help make things happen. New blood was transfused into the committee in the varied forms of Will Curry, Nigel Coote and Chris Dawkins - volunteers all, not a King's shilling in sight. Many thanks to Peter Hall and Lew Birt for their past efforts. But the greatest thanks of the evening went with the award of the Section Shield to the retiring secretary Hoppy (aka Phil Hopkins) for recognition of his untiring efforts, not just over the last 12 months but for the last 30 years!
The lights are coming on in workshops across the County, loved ones have been abandoned, teabags have been stockpiled, and the only good reason to emerge is club night. October saw my own debut as the monthly entertainment, telling tales and showing pictures of the places my motorcycles have taken me including the Himalayas, California, Eastern Europe and New Zealand. The audience was more than generous in its appreciation so I urge others to take centre-stage and tell us what lights your fire, motorcycling-wise. Our December gathering poses the intriguing question - "Do you believe in Santa?". And do you think he'll be able to get a pre-war Speed Twin down my chimney? Don't forget the Boxing Day Run - divorce grounds, if ever there were any!
September's club night saw us ushered reluctantly back indoors for the start of the autumn and winter programme - reluctant, that is, only because of the lovely evening and the fine array of bikes gleaming outside. Once inside Will Curry treated us to an illustrated tour through the intriguing and sometimes surprisingly strange world of motorcycle manuals and handbooks with many examples taken from his own extensive collection, with even the occasional though predictable mention of Ariel motorcycles. The November club night brings the important business of the AGM and the need to find worthy replacements for some key officers. Never an easy task but the deceptively smooth running of the club doesn't happen by accident. Your County needs you!
August club night was a rare nice evening so bikes were out in force and the table-top sale played rather a supporting role to an impromptu beer and natter in the car park. Weather was not so kind for the Beating the Boundaries Run with heavy rain throughout the night before and into the morning putting off all but a brave quartet. Nevertheless, fortune smiled in the unusual form of a broken brake cable and by the time it had been sellotaped together the rain had stopped ready for the venture into Bedfordshire's "outer limits". The October meeting sees yours truly showing pictures of my many motorcycle touring exploits. November is the all-important AGM and, be prepared, Hoppy is standing down as secretary - crisis?
Luckily the Gods turned the taps off leaving the Albert Brown Run with ideal weather. A solid entry from veteran to classic set off from the Milton Keynes museum of Rural Life for an excellent run around the Northants, Bucks and Beds lanes. A splendid event indeed - very well organised. Good weather also ensured a marvelous turn-out for the "car park concours". Over 75 bikes of all descriptions were inspected, criticized, drooled-over and coveted by the gathered masses with a 1940s Royal Enfield v-twin, once again, taking "the bike I'd most like to be left in a will" award. It was pleasing to see many visitors to the club enjoying the display and adding to the spectacle with some very exotic modern machinery.
The first Arthur King Memorial Run took a small but enthusiastic gathering of Veteran, Vintage & girder-fork machines on a splendid tour of the Beds & Herts backroads. Hopefully the huge effort by Roger and his family will be rewarded by better numbers in the future. Inclement weather for the club night's ride-a-bike-to-Shefford theme was disappointing but didn't stop the appearance of some finely preserved relics of Britain's industrial past - and many of them on bikes! My holidays meant I had to write this before the barbeque at Cranfield Social Club but hopefully it was its usual success. August sees the Beating-the-Boundaries run and the Table-top sale, when unwanted bits and unsuspecting punters meet.
A large and appreciative crowd gathered on a damp May club night to hear Roy Price's fascinating account of sidecar scrambling through the 50s and 60s - most enjoyable. Unfortunately, the Spring Run lived up to its name only because a spring can be an abundant source of water - falling non-stop on the dozen riders! A great pity as the route and pub stop were excellent. We finally got lucky with the weather and had a lovely evening for the anti-social run to the Green Man in Eversholt where we were joined by some members of the Chiltern Section on a night off (i.e. mostly modern bikes, tut-tut). Lots happening in July, including the fiercely contested car park concours - pass the Solvol Autosol please.
One swallow sidecar doesn't make a summer but no less than 32 "eligible" bikes (and a few exotic "moderns") at the April club night must be a sure sign of better weather. No speaker this month but a lot of good chat over the traditional fish and chip supper. June club night is "Ride a bike to Shefford" night so let's hope for good weather again to encourage another large turnout. Other highlights in June and July are the Arthur King Memorial Run, the Albert Brown Run, the Car Park Concours, the Cranfield Barbeque and a social night in Bromham with the AMOC.
Shefford Memorial Hall was once again packed to the rafters as over 80 potential Brains-of-Britain displayed their knowledge of ancient and obscure motorcycles, associated personalities, and basic botany in the semi-legendary intersection quiz, now in its 19th year. The main round left most heads spinning but saw Anglian "A" and Chiltern "A" emerge as rivals for the quick fire 80-question final, with the Anglian section eventually victorious. But one question nobody had any problem answering was whether the food was good - of course it was, this is the Bedfordshire section! The month of May features a club night talk by 60s sidecar racer Roy Price, the Spring Run and the evening anti-social run (i.e. find your own way to the venue).
Payback time for all the mild winter weather came at last - one decent snowfall and it would coincide with club night, wouldn't it? I hear about 16 hardy soles still managed to snow-shoe their way to Shefford to see "Chasing Shadows", a film made in 2000 about Vincents. No speaker for the April club night as we'll all have our mouths full with the traditional fish & chip supper. The merry month of May sees the first club run for the season - time to pump up those tyres and grease those bearings. The 2007 Bedfordshire Landmark Challenge should be on the website soon or contact me for a copy; a chance to explore the backroads over the course of the summer.
The January club night was packed with over 80 members eager to learn all about magnetos from Dave Fisher. And they didn't go away disappointed having heard tales of slip rings, face cams and earth brushes - there was even a spot of praise lavished on the much maligned Joe Lucas! The Boxing Day run was well supported with around 30 bikes and riders keen to escape the turkey left-overs. An amazing £247.40 was raised on the day for the Ampthill Cheshire Home who kindly provided refreshments at the start. Only a few days left now to swot up for the intersection quiz night at the March meeting - come and be surprised by the amount of obscure knowledge you didn't even know you knew.
A mild December club night brought out a good few old bikes - and an awful lot of old bikers. A generous bunch they were too with the raffle raising the handsome sum of £140.04 for the local Cheshire Home. The ladies did us proud with excellent festive grub including the essential sausage rolls and mince pies. The 2007 programme was unveiled to a roll of drums and fanfare of trumpets - action packed, as always with a splendid mix of talks, films, runs and food plus the annual quiz. Check out the website for the full programme and loads of other fascinating stuff. February club night features "Chasing Shadows", the film about Vincents.
The November club night saw a good and fairly well-behaved turn-out for the section AGM; the stewards had a quiet evening. Generally favourable reports all round so the committee was voted back in en bloc - and everyone else secretly breathed a quiet sigh of relief. A very popular vote of thanks was made to Ivor Rhodes and his family for their unstinting dedication in organising the Albert Brown Run year after year. The Section Shield was presented to Bob Culver for his outstanding contribution to the section also over many years. Dave Fisher of Moathouse Magnetos will be visiting us for the January club night to talk about, yes you've guessed it, magnetos. Indeed, my own Triumph CN3 bears testament to his abilities.
At the October club-night Hoppy treated us to a fascinating tale of a veteran car with the unlikely name of Adam. The story was originally discovered in a scrap book (The Book of Adam) bought at a jumble. The new-look website is up and running on www.vmccbeds.co.uk and looking for content. The programme for 2007 is progressing well and should be released with a small fanfare at the December club night. The evening will have a distinct seasonal flavour with an evening in Santa's grotto - but don't let that put you off, the grub'll be good! Don't forget the Boxing Day Run - the ideal way to escape the grandkids. January sees a visit from Dave Fisher (Moathouse Magnetos) to talk about, yes you've guessed it, magnetos.
The September meeting saw an impressive array of shiny machines grace the car park for the return to dark evenings. Inside the hall, the unmistakable figure of our own Will Curry took the floor with a talk, nay more a chat, on "motorcycling today" including some interesting cost comparisons from a 1910s Ariel parts price list converted to today's prices. Another interesting observation was that of the fifty and odd people in the room, only five owned up to also owing a machine less than 10 years old. November sees the AGM so come along and have your say in Club affairs, whinge at the committee, then vote them back in for another year because they actually do it all quite well.
Comments, suggestions and articles for inclusion to: Will Curry (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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